April 1, 2021
Known for its coastal appeal and local tourism, Vero Beach, Fla., was the ideal location to build a luxury community. Real estate development and construction company GH Vero Beach Development partnered with local designer Patricia Davis Brown to sell this community by designing a series of model homes. Each of these homes would appeal to a different potential homeowner and include traditional, coastal, industrial and transitional looks. It was the kitchen in the transitional-style home that proved to be one of the most challenging.
Creating the Ideal Look for Prospective Clients
According to Brown, transitional style is a play on traditional and contemporary; the balance of materials is key.
“The objective was to create a home that was on-trend, with a standout design that would leave a lasting impression on a potential homeowner,” said Brown, who is the owner and founder of Patricia Davis Brown Designs.
Cabinetry can set the groundwork for a kitchen style. In this case, a simple slab door and drawer design painted in matte stone gray were chosen to let other materials shine. Another neutral but essential material was the calm gray Caesarstone countertops with squared edges, a detail used throughout the kitchen for a transitional look.
“Warm grays were chosen for this model home because they are popular today,” explained the designer, who used AutoCAD to complete this project.
With this in mind, Brown selected appliances in a new finish from the Dacor line: graphite stainless. This color offered a sleek, nearly black tone that complemented the matte gray cabinetry and added a note of sophistication to the space.
Implementing Pops of Excitement to the Kitchen
The trending gray palette established by the cabinetry and countertops provided the perfect background for a few sparks of interest in the kitchen to appeal to today’s transitional consumers. The main pop of color is the copper hood.
“After I had selected the appliances, I realized that they did not offer a hood in the graphite stainless color, which was a problem,” said Brown, explaining that she could not mix stainless steel with the graphite stainless because it was too close in tone – but not close enough – and it would be bad design to try to match the graphite stainless. “The choice would have to be different enough to work. Copper was the perfect choice, and it became the star of the show.”
Another eye-catching component was the geometric marble mosaic backsplash. The designer picked this mathematical pattern because it leans more contemporary – an element that balances out the more traditional cabinets in the space. It also added excitement to the design, offering a continuous pattern of colors and serving as the anchor for all the gray, black and white tones in the room.
“Backsplashes are at eye level, so they bring a lot of power to the whole formula of a kitchen design and need special consideration,” said Brown.
Overcoming Architectural Mistakes
Getting into the project after most of the construction was completed presented a challenge for the designer. The original architect for the model homes had designed a ceiling header in the kitchen that ran above the ideal location for a dining table. If Brown placed a table beneath this header, there would be not enough head room for the necessary ceiling fixture.
“Going forward, I corrected this flaw by removing the header in the future home designs,” said Brown. “This home was already past the point of changing the ceiling design, so we needed to deal with it.”
Instead of the traditional dining room table, she designed a layered “yin yang island” that combined a waterfall countertop and a custom oak table to create both a prep space and a social gathering hub. An offset light fixture – centered over the dining part of the island – features exposed Edison bulbs and a dark stainless-steel frame to connect to the rest of the space and emphasize the transitional look.
“The art of covering up a design flaw is to make it not look like a cover up at all, but an integral part of the design from the beginning,” said the designer.
Designer: Patricia Davis Brown
Photographer: Stephanie Davis
Cabinetry Hardware: Atlas Homewares
Custom Hood: Thompson Traders
Decorative Lighting: Hubbardton Forge
Marble Backsplash: New Ravenna
Wood Countertop: Café Countertops